Harper Green school is improving, say Ofsted insepctors

The Bolton News: Harper Green School. Picture from Google Maps. Harper Green School. Picture from Google Maps.

A POPULAR high school — ordered to improve by education watchdogs — is “taking effective action” to raise standards.

Harper Green School, in Farnworth, has been placed in the “requires improvement” category by Ofsted because not enough children were making good progress.

Inspectors found that apart from the behaviour and safety of children, for which Harper Green was rated as good, all areas of the school were in need of improvement.

However, on a recent visit, inspector Paul Chambers noted the school had made the development of teaching and learning a priority, with some staff undergoing training to improve their skills. The proportion of good or better teaching was said to be high, with more teachers being held accountable for the progress of pupils by senior staff.

Mr Chambers reported: “The impact of this training is beginning to be seen — more staff are able to use data to track, at a class level, a range of measures, such as the proportion of students making and exceeding expected progress.”

Mr Chambers also said that pupils had more opportunities in class and the marking of their work now highlighted how they could improve.

But the inspector added: “Although results at key stage three have risen, forecasts for GCSE results in 2014 do not point to significant improvements on those obtained in 2013.”

Ofsted said a key priority is to find a replacement for headteacher Bob Flood, who retired at the end of last year, and ensure the period in between does “not lead to any slack-ening in the drive for improvement”.

Acting headteacher Andrew Foster, who was previously senior deputy head, said: “We are pleased that inspectors recognise the continuing strengths of the school as well as the many improvements in attainment and progress that have taken place recently.

“This is particularly so given the record GCSE results our pupils achieved in summer 2013.

“However, we are fully aware of the need to build on these results and make further progress. Rapid and effective improvements at the school in this respect have recently been confirmed by inspectors.”

Comments (2)

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1:18pm Wed 29 Jan 14

squeak says...

Please can the reporter or someone on the web team do a spell check of Inspectors in the headline? That is so unprofessional, especially considering the subject!
Please can the reporter or someone on the web team do a spell check of Inspectors in the headline? That is so unprofessional, especially considering the subject! squeak

2:25am Thu 30 Jan 14

BoltonLancs says...

More importantly, it needs to be stressed that Harper Green pupils are put under significant pressure to adhere to the school's targets set by Ofsted rulings. The school's problems bring about a fail-if-you-dare culture for pupils when it comes to the increasing number of term tests children have to take. Poor teaching in class = pupils having to take re-testing in their own time. And the amount of homework kids are expected to complete is almost comical. We know it's the education authority applying the pressures, obviously to appease the targets. But when you have bright children crying over their homework and wanting to feign illness regularly so they don't have to go into that mismanaged institution then you wonder if it's worth the fine....
More importantly, it needs to be stressed that Harper Green pupils are put under significant pressure to adhere to the school's targets set by Ofsted rulings. The school's problems bring about a fail-if-you-dare culture for pupils when it comes to the increasing number of term tests children have to take. Poor teaching in class = pupils having to take re-testing in their own time. And the amount of homework kids are expected to complete is almost comical. We know it's the education authority applying the pressures, obviously to appease the targets. But when you have bright children crying over their homework and wanting to feign illness regularly so they don't have to go into that mismanaged institution then you wonder if it's worth the fine.... BoltonLancs

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